On February 5, 1918, the sinking of the troop transport ship SS Tuscania sent shock waves across the nation, including the town of Manistique. The Tuscania was a former luxury passenger liner that had been pressed into service as a troop carrier by the United States Army. The Tuscania had sailed from Hoboken, New Jersey on January 24, 1918 with 2,013 soldiers and 383 crewmen on board. Despite being escorted by a British convey, the Tuscania was struck by a torpedo fired from a German submarine, and sent to the bottom of the Irish Sea. The vast majority of the troops aboard the Tuscania were rescued by the Royal Navy Destroyers Mosquito and Pigeon, but 210 souls were lost, including both military personnel and crewmen.
When the Chicago Lumber Company came to Manistique in 1872, they owned all of the town area except one residence. Their goal was to keep the town “dry”. Any property leased or later sold had a convenant attached to it saying that the premises could not manufacture, store or sell intoxicating liquors.
The residence referred to above was owned by Alex Richards. The location was bounded by Pearl Street, Water Street, and Maine Street, forming the a flatiron shape. The only liquor available was through whiskey boats that would anchor offshore. The whiskey sellers were finally arrested as a result of selling their goods to the Indians. In the 1880’s, Daniel Heffron from New York saw great opportunity in Manistique as a saloon-keeper. He found Richards, bought his property and built his saloon.